Kent athletes win 14 medals at Youth Olympic Festival in Australia
by Alex Hoad
Kent athletes produced a string of fine
performances to secure a host of medals at the Australian Youth
Olympic Festival in Sydey, which closed on Sunday.
The county was represented by seven
youngsters, with a further two more as reserves, and collected 14
medals, a large proportion of Team GB’s total of 66.
The competition, which attracted more than
1,700 athletes from around the globe, is seen as a stepping-stone
towards future Olympic Games.
Maidstone gymnast James Hall
led the way with a superb individual haul of two golds, a silver
and a bronze.
The Pegasus GC star claimed joint gold on the
floor, silver in the pommel horse and bronze in the vault, aswell
as the team artistic gold along with fellow Maidstone and Pegasus
star Courtney Tulloch.
Tulloch also won gold in the rings to finish
with two medals.
Deal rower Luke Moon won
three medals, silver in the single and quad sculls and bronze in
the men’s eight, just being edged out of another silver by New
Zealand in a photo finish.
Pembury’s Tim Grant, who rows
for Maidstone, missed out on two silvers in photos, having to
settle for bronze along with Moon in the eight and taking third
behind Australia in the men’s four.
Canterbury Hockey Club aces Ross
Gilham-Jones and Grace Balsdon both
return with medals.
Hythe’s Gilham-Jones scored five goals in four
games and helped inspire GB to come from 3-0 down to force
extra-time in the gold medal match against the hosts, only for the
Australians to snatch a golden goal winner to claim gold and leave
GB with silver.
Balsdon and the GB girls were on the right end
of a sudden-death winner as they overcame USA 2-1 in extra time of
their bronze medal match.
Gravesend-born triathlete Sophie
Coldwell claimed a bronze as a member of the GB relay team
in addition to finishing 8th in the individual
Canterbury hockey player Diccon Stubbings
and Tunbridge Wells rower Georgia Francis were
reserves for the event.
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